The atrocities that went on in the ring in Houston on Saturday in the opener of an HBO doubleheader, when James Kirkland defeated Carlos Molina by disqualification, have already been well-documented.
Molina was frequently holding throughout the fight, but referee Jon Schorle did little to stop it. That pales in comparison to what happened at the end of the fight when Molina, seemingly far ahead on the cards, was knocked down in the waning seconds of the 10th round.
The bell rang during Schorle’s count, which it should not have done. That prompted a Molina cornerman to enter the ring and that led to a sequence in which Molina wound up being disqualified. If it were an isolated mistake, it would be unfortunate but understandable.
But the episode continued a troubling trend with the way cards are managed in Texas. On Feb. 16, despite a contract weight of 172, Shawn Estrada weighed in at 196 for his Feb. 17 fight with Terrance Woods. Texas somehow allowed the fight to proceed despite a guy missing weight by 24 pounds.
On Feb. 18, virtually everyone but the judges felt Gabriel Campillo had beaten Tavoris Cloud in their light heavyweight title fight. The outrageously bad decision went to Cloud. That continues a trend of bad judging in Texas – Gale Van Hoy had Kirkland up five rounds to four in a fight Kirkland was losing badly by his own admission – and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.
Scoring is subjective and I usually defend judges, but the scores on some of the fights in Texas (Juan Diaz over Paulie Malignaggi, Cloud over Campillo, Van Hoy’s score in the Kirkland-Molina fight) raise troubling questions.
Hopefully, it’s just incompetence, but I’m beginning to fear it’s something worse. I hope I’m wrong, but whatever the case, things need to change for the better, and quickly, in Texas.